Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Forest Cannot Speak?

"..(T)he carvings of the nations are nonentities, wood cut from the forest, fashioned by artisans with the adze, adorned with silver and gold. With nails and hammers they are fastened, so they do not fall. Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they, they cannot speak; they must be carried about, for they cannot walk. Do not fear them, they can do no harm, neither can they do good." (Jer 10:2-5)

Trees can't walk and talk? Anyone that thinks that has clearly not seen Doctor Who.

As Jimmy Akin explains in the Jun 11, 2012 Catholic Answers Live!, what Jeremiah is talking about here is pagan idolatry. The prophet's word read like a riddle: what has a mouth but cannot speak, legs but cannot walk? Carved idols are not living things. They are not gods, and they can neither help nor directly harm anyone.

Catholic statues are not worshiped as idols. The corpus on the crucifix is not our God. It is a holy reminder, a tool to help us meditate and pray. We do not pray to the carved body of Jesus. We pray to Jesus Himself.

He, too, was fastened with nails and hammers, to wood cut from the forest. Three days later, however, He rose to speak and walk again.

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